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Sherlocking in the Pacific Northwest
I flew to Portland, Oregon on Monday. My flight was an afternoon ordeal that started late, my scheduled flight was due to depart at 4:25 that afternoon but due to some stupid weather conditions between Dallas/ Ft. Worth and Portland, we were an hour and four minutes late taking off for our destination. The airlines upgraded me to First Class, which now is the ultimate misnomer. However, it is my firm opinion that enough cheap red wine can make most situations tolerable. Thus was the case on Monday afternoon. Actually the wine was not so cheap as to give me a headache.
I arranged my travel plans in hopes that when I was in Portland, I would have time to visit Jerry Margolin and his fabulous Sherlockian art collection. As it turned out, his wife Judy had reached a milestone birthday and they were off to Las Vegas on the day of my arrival. My motto is to never panic and I made due with my time in Portland to visit the downtown Powell Books location. If there is anyone unfamiliar with Powell’s Books, it is one of those bigger than life bookstores that consume the entire block. It is so large that there is also satellite Powell’s Bookstores spread throughout the area. The Burnside store is still my favorite.
For those who live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, Powell’s Books is the Pacific Northwest’s version of Half-Price Books. They are cuts from the same piece of cloth. What I enjoy so much about Powell’s is there attention to foreign translations. Their selection of translated books is the widest of any bookshop that is not exclusively a foreign bookseller. The staff is knowledgeable but not overbearing. They appear and disappear as needs arise and dissipate.
On this particular visit, I was able to add a couple of new books to my collection. First was a nice French translation- Le Chien des Baskerville and the second was a Spanish edition - Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes. These are 2008 and 2007 publications respectively. They are certainly not rare but it is always a pleasure for me to be able to walk into a bookshop and actually buy a foreign translation of the Canon. Powell’s Books is on of those few places in the United States where that is possible. I have included The Galactic Sherlock Holmes entries for the two books at the end of this piece.
The remainder of my Portland trip saw zero amounts of Sherlockian experiences. I did go to a wonderful place called Wildwood Restaurant and Bar. It is on 21st in Portland not too far from Powell’s Books. Wildwood was the first to offer the farm- to- restaurant concept in Portland. Their menu features ingredients that come from just a few miles away in the Willamette Valley. I had a marvelous entrée of ham on fluffy potato cake and bed of spinach. I washed it all down with a lovely and delicate Pinot Noir from the nearby Shea Vineyards. Life is good.
Le Chien des Baskerville [Translated by Bernard Tourville] Paris: Gallimard Jeunesse, 2008. 264 p. Illustrated by Philippe Davaine. Folio Junoir no. 562.
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes[Translated by Juan Manuel Dominguez] Madrid: Edimat Libros, 2007. 191 p.
Past 2009 Columns